Today’s letters show that the results of last week’s General Election are still under the spotlight, their meaning for UKIP being analysed. The first letter is from our reader Phillip Moore:
for some a missed opportunity is a cause for later reflection and often a source of disappointment, and one such missed opportunity might well, for Theresa May and the Conservative party, be something they reflect on in the months to come.
The overlooked opportunity was the failure to openly embrace Labour voters who had so willingly abandoned their life long loyalties to vote for Nigel Farage in the two polls in 2015 and 2016. It was a personal vote for him more than an ideological one for UKIP, a party still in its infancy. I am certain that much of the UKIP support in 2015 came from traditional Labour supporters. I stood as a council candidate for UKIP in the spring of 2015 and canvassed daily in one of the most impoverished council wards in Leeds, an area in the city where hope has long evaporated away; where unemployment is high and the curse of zero-hour contract work widespread; where dogs roam free and feral youths with the hooded tops ride round on bikes following and intimidating strangers; where old mattresses lay in overgrown front gardens and beer cans litter open spaces; where bus timetables end early in the evening because of concerns for the safety of passengers and their drivers.
But it was on these estates where I walked with impunity, a stranger in their midst, going where no Tories or Lib Dems would dare to go. Wearing the UKIP rosette, I delivered leaflets amongst them, talked to them and surprisingly met many people who wanted to engage in real political discussion. There was a grudging support for UKIP on one of the strongest Labour council wards in Leeds. Owners would call their fierce dogs away so I could walk to their doors to deliver leaflets and the youths were clearly instructed to let me pass unhindered, and one name was overwhelmingly mentioned time and time again, Nigel Farage, viewed by many as a latter-day Robin Hood fighting the evil European Union on behalf of the ‘downtrodden serfs’ on this council estate. While they may not have fully understood what Brexit meant they did, however, understand that someone wanted to offer them hope and a better future.
And when these individuals who voted to leave delivered the referendum they wanted their hero to be rewarded with a knighthood or similar and a role in the Brexit negotiations. They felt he had earned it, but more importantly they wanted to feel that their support for leaving the EU in the face of their traditional party’s position to remain was recognised in some way. But it was not to be. Instead the outgoing Prime Minister chose to reward his friends and advisors; this did not go unnoticed.
I am certain that had the government embraced Farage, instead of ignoring him, and produced a softer manifesto, there were many Labour votes to be had.
Who knows if my view of events would have unfolded and the Conservative landslide so widely predicted come to pass; but what is not in doubt is that it was Labour voters who put so many UKIP MEPs in Brussels, gave UKIP a place on the political landscape in 2015 and helped take us out of the EU.
Respectfully, Philip Moore, Leeds, West Yorkshire
The following letter is from our reader and correspondent Roger Arthur:
Some suggest that Labour voters supported Corbyn – only after Labour committed to leaving the Single Market. They may regret that.
Why, because many of his colleagues continue to confuse access to the Single Market, with being in it. Of course they know that around 170 countries trade with the Single Market – but are not in it.
They must also know that, if we stay in it, then we will remain subject to ECJ jurisdiction. But that would not see us leaving the EU and it shows contempt for the outcome of the Referendum.
As Cicero said, the enemy within is far more dangerous than the enemy at the gate.
Respectfully, Roger Arthur.
Finally, a letter from our contributor and reader Jack Russell:
As the old saying has it, ‘a week in politics is a long time’. Well, it’s a week since the nation went to the polls, but the turmoil has not subsided. In fact, it’s being kept alive thanks to our wonderful media who are supporting the online Left movements’ claims that actually Corbyn won.
The mathematical illiteracy on the Left is breathtaking, as is the hypocrisy. They don’t seem to understand that, even if all MPs from the SNP, Plaid, Greens, LibDems and indeed the DPU, were to go into some sort of coalition with Labour, they would still not have the majority of seats in the HoC. And one might ask how come that a coalition with the DUP is fine for Labour, but not for the Tories?
Meanwhile, the smears and slime being poured over the DUP by our MSM looks as if they have replaced UKIP in the ‘we hate you’ category. A clear and balanced debate is not to be had in the MSM.
Isn’t it time to abolish the enforced fee for the BBC? Do we need to pay for Labour propaganda? We don’t pay for their leaflets, do we!
Abolishing that fee was in UKIP’s Manifesto, and, I am told, is in the DUP’s manifesto. I hope, with their becoming part of government, this will now be done.
Respectfully, Jack Russell.